Discus Fish Diet

Discus fish are popular with their vibrant colors and interesting shapes. But, have you ever asked yourself what’s the secret to the most vibrant and healthy discus? Without hesitation, the answer is “nutrition.”

A healthy diet for your discus should include various food sources that offer vitamins, minerals, and nutrients similar to what they find in the wild. Also, they will enjoy treats every once in a while of ground beef or mealworms!

In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about feeding your discus fish and providing them with a healthy diet.

What Do Discus Fish Eat in Nature?

In the Amazon’s murky waters, red discus fish, or Heckel fish, eat lots of plants, crustaceans, and worms, while blue discus fish feed on insects and bug larvae.

In addition, they eat tiny crustaceans, plant material, insects, and detritus that fall out of the surrounding woods during storms.

What to Feed My Discus Fish?

Mature discus fish should have a diet that includes 35-45% protein, while young, newly hatched fry and juveniles require a diet with up to 50% protein to speed up their growth rate.

It’s also worth noting that their diet isn’t only protein, and they require additional fats and vitamins to help them develop vibrant colors.

To have all of the correct proportions of protein, fat, and vitamins, you should provide them with a combination of live, frozen, and dry foods.

What Are the Main Food for My Discus?

Bloodworms

Bloodworms are mosquito larvae, and they make excellent food for discus fish. They are high in protein and you can offer them in frozen, freeze-dried, or live forms.

White worms

White worms are rich in proteins and are particularly nutritious for your discus buddies.

Also, they are useful for their conditioning, breeding, and growth since they are high in fats.

To provide a regular food source for your discus, you can culture white worms at home. In order to do this, you should feed the worms bread, oats, and raw sausage mixed with water.

Beef heart

Although the beef heart is a popular frozen food among discus enthusiasts, it isn’t as readily accessible as the other options mentioned above.

This is due to the fact you have to communicate with your local butcher ahead of time and order it in advance to acquire it.

In general, beef heart is a great ingredient for small fish and fry since it rapidly bulks them up and makes them bigger and stronger.

For a beef heart paste, I recommend combining different vegetables, such as peas, carrots, cabbage, and red peppers.

You can scoop it into tiny balls and place them at the bottom of the tank or along the sides.

To add variety in flavor, you can use chicken, turkey, and mutton hearts commonly together with the beef heart.

However, too much beef heart can lead to constipation and other digestive problems. Therefore, only give it to your fish in controlled treats.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are rich in crustacean oil which is a good source of fats that your discus fish need.

Aside from that, they are high in both proteins which help your discus grow, develop, and stay healthy.

You can culture brine shrimp in your own home. All you need is a big glass jar with thick walls and enough algal growth to keep the brine shrimp alive.

This will provide you with a never-ending supply of food for your discus fish!

What Are the Best Commercial Foods For My Discus?

Aquatic Foods Inc Afz Beef Heart Flakes

Afz Beef Heart Flakes ensures that your discus is well-fed without the hassle of making other recipes.

Also, it contains dried kelp and spirulina (45% meat protein) which help them maintain their vibrant colors.

However, be careful to grind this food into small pieces since the flakes are quite big and your fish can have difficulty eating them.

ProsCons
It contains 45% meat proteinThe flakes are big
Enhance the fish colors

Sera 307 Discus Granules

Sera 307 Discus granules are high in protein, which is crucial to the growth of young fish as well as the maintenance of strong energy levels in older ones.

This product contains garlic, as well as other nutrients including spirulina, algae, fish oil, and vegetables such as spinach and carrot.

ProsCons
Rich in vitamins B1, B2, and vitamin EExpensive
Granular food doesn’t disappear
Packed with vitamins and nutrients
High acceptance rates

Tetra Tropical XL Color Granules

Tetra’s tropical fish foods are well-known for their innovation and quality. They’re made with natural, safe, and nutritious components that highlight the brilliant hues of your fish.

ProsCons
Enhance fish’s immunity systemSome fish can’t consider it delicious
Ensure a healthy metabolismThey sink too quickly at the bottom of the tank lowering the water quality

Cobalt Discus Hans Flakes

The Cobalt Discus Hans flakes contain a mixture of salmon fish meal, spirulina, earthworm powder, and garlic powder. This blend provides the essential vitamins and minerals for the growth and overall health of your discus.

ProsCons
Don’t cloud the waterA large amount of the food arrives as dust
Packed with nutrients, as well as probiotics
Discus fish love their taste

San Francisco Bay Brand Freeze Dried Bloodworms

If you want your discus to become more active, energetic, and grow in size, San Francisco Bay Brand Freeze Dried Bloodworms can help you achieve that goal.

However, there are some drawbacks. Firstly, it is quite expensive. Secondly, it can be messy since it contains pieces of tiny twigs, grass, and other messy debris

ProsCons
Keep the fish active and energeticQuite expensive
It contains pieces of tiny twigs, grass, and other messy debris

Ocean Nutrition Discus Flakes

Ocean Nutrition’s Discus flakes are specifically designed to enhance the health and growth of Discus fish.

It is rich in protein, which is important for young fish to facilitate growth. While mature fish benefit from its high energy levels and satiation properties.

Although it is true that tiny flakes are easier to chew and digest, they are not suitable for most adult cichlids.

However, this product has the same fate as other fish food flakes, with the particles breaking down into dust and leaving a hazy mess in the container’s bottom.

ProsCons
CheapA lot of the food turns up as dust
Good value
Formulated for Discus
Doesn’t discolor the water

Omega One Super Color Flake

Omega One boasts that their Discus sinking pellets are the only food of its kind made with fresh Alaskan seafood.

Overall, sinking pellets are less messy than flakes since they do not break down into tiny pieces and cloud the water.

Also, this food can reduce bladder issues that occur from surface feeding.

ProsCons
Great for Discus coloringNot all Discus like the taste
Sinking pellets
Good value for money

Hikari USA Inc. Tropical Discus Bio-Gold

Hikari Bio-Gold contains vitamins and minerals that promote fish growth and enhance their colors.

Also, they’re also high in vitamin C, which helps your fish’s immune system and fights off diseases.

ProsCons
Extremely appealing to picky Discus fishSmells outside the tank as well as in
Protein heavy recipePellets are on the small side
Improves color and enables growth
High in vitamin C

Seachem NutriDiet Discus Flakes

The Seachem Nutridiet fish flakes are formulated to meet the discus’s protein, vitamins, and minerals requirements.

For best results, Seachem recommends feeding your fish 1-3 times a day with a number of flakes that your fish can consume within three minutes.

However, when I tried it myself, I discovered that the flakes turn the water red after a long period.

In addition, there is a high concentration of garlic in this product which might not be suitable for all discus species.

ProsCons
CheapSome dusty flakes
Many users report that their Discus loves itSome reports of water discoloration
Good balance of protein, vitamins, and nutrientsGarlicky smell

How Often Should I Feed My Discus Fish?

The feeding frequency differs depending on the life stage of your fish.

For example, you should feed baby discus from ten to twelve times per day, while juveniles eat five to six times per day.

As for adults, they need two to three meals each day.

Why Should Overfeeding Be Avoided?

Overfeeding can cause water pollution and lead to health problems such as digestion issues, swim bladder disease, and obesity.

Also, food leftovers resulting from overfeeding can foul up the water and make it difficult to maintain good water quality.

After a while, these leftovers will decompose into ammonia and nitrites, which are toxic to your discus fish.

How Should You Avoid Overfeeding Your Discus Fish?

When feeding discus, you can stick to a general guideline of thumb, which is to give them 3% of their body weight each feeding.

For example, a discus weighing 75 grams should eat 2.25 grams of food twice daily.

If the fish doesn’t eat its given food within 15 minutes, you should remove the uneaten food to avoid any water quality issues.

What Are Discus Fish Eating Habits?

Discus fish have grinders in their jaws rather than teeth. They consume food by mouthing it, spitting it out, and then recapturing it before swallowing.

As a result of this procedure, they usually eat smaller and more frequent meals than other fish.

Once discus fish have their fill, they will scan the tank bottom for leftovers and tidy up for approximately an hour.

FAQs

Do Discus Fish Eat Dry Food?

Discus fish eat dry food and it contains many of the essential nutrients they need. Dry food includes pellets, flakes, powders, and granules.

How to Prepare Quality Beef Heart Discus Food?

To prepare quality beef heart discus food, you should follow some simple steps:

  • Trim, dice, and mince one cow heart to a paste
  • Mince 12-14 large prawns into a paste
  • Trim, slice, cook, cool, and then mince 1 large carrot and 3 broccoli stems
  • 3-4 large fistfuls of blanched, cooled spinach, minced with 3 cloves of garlic to form a paste
  • Mix them and feed your discus according to the instructions

Can Discus Fish Eat Freeze-Dried Food?

Discus loves freeze-dried foods and they are an excellent source of protein, ranking just behind frozen and live foods.

When you offer them to your discus, you should pre-soak them ahead of time to allow for water absorption and expansion.

This will prevent intestinal blockages that can occur if the food is not properly hydrated.

Last Words

When it comes to feeding your discus fish the right diet, you must put in the appropriate amount of effort, money, and time.

With the right diet, your discus fish will stay healthy, grow well, and have vibrant colors.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did. If you still have any questions, please share them with us in the comment section below.